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Molecular Characterization of Bacteria Associated with Vended Suya Meat in Port Harcourt

, S. A. Wemedo, T. Sampson

Abstract: The contamination of vended food with microorganisms especially pathogenic microbes is a public health hazard that could result to gastroenteritis. The aim of this study was to identify by molecular techniques bacteria associated with vended suya meat in part of Port Harcourt. Forty (40) ready-to-eat suya meat were randomly bought from 10 vendors across four locations: Rumuokoro, Rukpokwu, Nkpolu, and Choba. Sampling was carried out for a period of 3 months (September to November, 2019). The total heterotrophic bacterial counts of the vended suya meat for Rumuokoro, Rukpokwu, Nkpolu, and Choba were 1.04×106, 3.4×106, 1.49×106 and 2.04×106 CFU/g, respectively. While the total coliform counts of the vended suya meat for Rumuokoro, Rukpokwu, Nkpolu and Choba were 0.36×105, 3.21×105, 2.45×105 and 6.39×105 CFU/g, respectively. The total heterotrophic bacterial counts of vended suya meat bought from vendors in Choba were significantly higher (P≤ .05) than those bought from the Rumuokoro and Rukpokwu vendors. Similarly, the coliform counts of the suya meat bought from Choba vendors were significantly higher (P≤ .05) higher than the coliform counts of vended suya meat bought from vendors in Rumuokoro and Nkpolu. Twenty-eight bacterial isolates: Staphylococcus delphini, Staphylococcus lugdunensis, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus pasteuri, Paenibacillus pectinolytic, Lysinibacillus fusiforms, Bacillus aerius, Serratia nematodephila, Providencia alcalifaciens, Klebsiella singaporensis, Pseudomona aeruginosa, E. coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Proteus myxofaciens were identified from the vended suya meat. The molecular characterization of 16S rRNA of the isolates showed 99-100% similarity to other species in the NCBI data base. The evolutionary distances computed were in agreement with the phylogenetic placement of the 16S rRNA of the isolates Providencia and the Bacillus spp respectively and revealed a close relatedness to Providencia stuartii and Bacillus flexus respectively. The 16S rRNA of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Lysinibacillus spp revealed a close relatedness to Bacillus flexus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Lysinibacillus fusiformis. The frequency of occurrence of bacterial isolates across the locations was: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (7.14), Bacillus flexus (7.14), Bacillus spp (14.29), Staphylococcus sp (14.29), Staphylococcus lugdunensis (10.71), Proteus sp (10.71), Lynsibacillus macroides (3.57), E. coli (10.71), Serratia spp (10.71), Klebsiella spp (7.14) and Providencia alcalifaciens (3.57). These bacterial genera could pose serious health challenges especially if they are consumed in quantities required to cause infections as many have been linked to causing gastroenteritis and other forms of infections. Proper hygiene compliance during preparation and packaging is recommended to eliminate or reduce microbial populations and types.
Keywords: suya meat / sup / vended suya / bacterial isolates / Staphylococcus lugdunensis / Providencia alcalifaciens / Serratia

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